In this affiliate marketing guide of starting your own online business, I will walk you through the steps required to start your own affiliate marketing business.
You may have heard people talk about affiliate marketing and how easy it is to get started.
Make no mistake, getting started with affiliate marketing is no easy task but it all comes down to following simple fundamental steps.
The first step is to choose a profitable niche that you want to build your affiliate business around. For beginners, a "niche" is the general theme of the product you'll be promoting.
For example, if I am promoting diabetic recipes to interested people, I'd be in the health niche.
The Goal: Find an evergreen niche that will consistently make you money.
But first, let see what affiliate marketing is...
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people's (or companies') product to people that are interested in it and earning commission off those people's action.
It usually consist of: The advertiser/merchant, the publisher/affiliates and the customers.
The Advertisers (merchants) are those that developed a product and offers people the opportunity to promote it in return for commission.
While Publishers (affiliates) are those that promote the advertisers product and earn commissions in return.
And Customers are those interested in that particular product and purchase it to solve a particular problem in their life.
Although the usual action affiliates get paid for is making sales, some advertisers also pays you for lead generation, survey taken and other specified action.
The customers are very important to your affiliate marketing business. Without customers, to drive sales, you won't earn any commission.
So you understand the importance of generating targeted leads for your business. I will show you various ways to get those qualified customers later in the guide.
Now that you know what affiliate marketing is and how it works, let dive into finding a profitable niche...
1. What's Your Passion?
When starting out as an affiliate marketer, you need to have the drive to become successful.
Something that motivates you, that keeps you in check to do what is required of you as an affiliate marketer and eventually set you up for success.
However, choosing your niche based on your passion alone will set you up for failure and disappointment. You need a niche that is profitable.
Before we move into the actual process of finding a profitable niche, let see what a niche is all about.
According to Wikipedia, a niche is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused.
In simple term, a niche is a super-focused segment from a highly-concentrated market.
Here is an example to break it down for you...
Let say I am promoting a niche product called Green Tea for losing weight.
This falls under weight loss management in the health care niche.
You see, health care is a very broad niche (highly centralized market) and consist of other segment such as: nutrition, detoxification, etc.
And weight management (super-focused segment) is a smaller niche with lots of product to promote.
This means that the main purpose of choosing a niche is to focus on a single most profitable category so as to build loyal audience around your affiliate business.
Make a list
As I said earlier, you should choose a niche you are in love with. Though, it is not compulsory but it's important for your long-term success.
Now, the first step is to make a list of highly centralized market you like.
Here are few to choose from:
Once you've come up with your broad market then you need to pick a niche.
Trying to promote everything or anything will make you no money. So to identify your niche, head over to Quora.
Quora is a site where anyone can post questions about range of topics and get detailed community-based answers.
Now, simply type that broad term into the search bar once you've registered.
Then you'll get a list of top questions that show up in the search result. For example, if my broad market is "wealth" then my search result is:
The trick here is to develop smaller niches within that broad market.
For example, under wealth we have:
- Secret of wealth
- Build a lot wealth starting from zero
- Wealth distribution
- Wealth accumulation strategy
From the search, wealth distribution has more questions than others. Though you want to test all the niches you found, but I will go with the most popular one here.
We have our niches, now we have to test for profitability before settling on a specific niche.
Remember, our goal is to choose just one niche that will continue making money for us.
2. Check For Monetization
Our goal here is to find out if the niche you choose can be monetize and if its an evergreen niche.
Oh I got it.
What I mean by an evergreen niche is that you have to choose a niche that have high probability of making money every single day.
Some niche are seasonal, you can only make money from those niche when in its season else you have to play the waiting the game.
To make sure you don't fall into this trap, the key here is to pick a niche topic and test its worth.
It will be a stupid move to choose a niche you can't monetize or people are unwilling to pay for.
We will be using ClickBank to test your chosen niche. Though their are several strategies to do this, It's good to start with this site due to its popularity and reputation.
To get started, click on the "Affiliate marketplace" at the top right-hand side menu.
Then search for the niche in the search box. For example, I will search for "wealth distribution".
The left-hand side is where you can filter search result while the right-hand side shows you the search result which are products you can start promoting.
Our search result shows you products that falls under your niche.
Now, the most important metrics you want to focus on is the "Gravity". It ranges from "0-100+".
Gravity highlights how well a product sells in that niche.
The next important thing is the average income per sale. Though, you don't necessarily have to focus on this since you might not want to use ClickBank for your affiliate marketing business.
From our searched result, the second result have a good gravity and average income per sale.
I'd go with that if I am to choose the "wealth niche" and I prefer a gravity of 3+ but that also depends on your niche.
If you can't find anything good then you need to repeat the process until you come up with something great.
Testing For Evergreen
To check if your niche is evergreen, we need to go through what I called "human behavioral check".
There are two main reasons why people are willing to buy:
- To ease pain
- To move closer to pleasure
For example, you are interested in starting your own online business or affiliate marketing business because you want to:
- Stop struggling financially - Pain
- Have control of your time or be your own boss - Pleasure
Therefore, to test for evergreen in your niche, you need to have a solution (product) people are willing to solve consistently over the time.
In our sample niche, "wealth distribution": It solves those two human behavioral check.
And people are willing to either gain wealth or maintain their wealth. So this niche is evergreen.
3. Check For Competition
At this stage, you already have your niche and you know the possibility of making money is high or low.
Now the next step is to use Google Keyword Planner to check how competitive your niche is.
Enter your text here...
Type in your niche and other related keywords.
For example, our sample niche is wealth distribution, then I will type in the following keywords:
- Wealth distribution
- Wealth management
Then click "get ideas".
You want to pay attention the "average monthly searches" and "competition" section.
The average monthly searches show how much traffic this niche keyword gets while the competition shows how difficult it will be to rank for those keywords.
I'd go with keywords that have high competition and large search volumes. This shows that people are highly interested in this niche which gives me enough room to make money.
You also want to pay attention to the bidding section...
This section shows what other marketers are willing to pay for that specific keyword.
The higher they bid, the more profitable the keyword is.
For example, if marketers are willing to pay $20 for a keyword then their commission will probably be 3x that.
Finding a profitable niche is not a rocket science but you want to test out your ideas to make sure you're choosing a profitable niche.
The next step on starting your own affiliate marketing business is: Choosing your Affiliate network.